Disclosure: Ridester.com is supported by our users. We may recieve compensation from the companies whose products we write about, test, or review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. Please refer to our Affiliate Disclosure for more information.
When Uber took hold of the on-demand transportation industry, taxi services fought back. They lobbied, protested, and spoke out as consumers turned away from yellow cabs and toward their rideshare apps. In Latin America, Easy Taxi was one of the leaders in bridging the gap between the taxi industry and modern consumer needs.
Though Easy Taxi is now best known as a part of Cabify — Uber’s direct competitor in Iberia and Latin America — it continues to make a place for taxis in the tech-driven world. Even with private cars available through the same platform, some users continue to seek taxis thanks to this innovation.
Keep reading to learn about Easy Taxi, how you can hail these vehicles, and what other services Cabify offers.
- What Is Easy Taxi?
- Easy Taxi Merges With Cabify
- How to Request an Easy Taxi
- Other Cabify Ride Options
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Easy Taxi?
Easy Taxi was founded in Brazil in 2011 to help users hail taxis from a mobile app. In addition to boosting the convenience of taxi services, it also boosted safety and efficiency by taking notes from rideshare companies across the globe. Through the app, riders could match to the closest licensed taxi driver — regardless of the drivers’ company affiliation — and track their rides in real time before and during the trip.
The company quickly gained traction, earning millions of dollars from investors. One of its prime investors was Rocket Internet, the world’s biggest e-commerce incubator. It expanded into Africa and Asia, including the Middle East, though when Asian competitors proved to be too strong, it narrowed its focus to Latin American markets.
Despite the setback, the app continued to remain prominent as one of the most downloaded taxi apps in the world.
Easy Taxi Merges With Cabify
In 2017, Easy Taxi merged its operations with Cabify. In fact, Cabify invested $20 million into the deal. This benefited both Cabify and consumers in multiple ways:
- Cabify would gain a massive user base in Latin America. Because the app was founded in Spain, they had the strongest presence in the Iberian Peninsula. This gave them access to a wider Spanish and Portuguese-speaking user base.
- Consumers would gain another affordable rideshare option. As Cabify’s operations expanding with Easy Taxi, it became more accessible to people across Latin America.
- Consumers could access taxi drivers and private drivers in the same app. This increased convenience and desirability in a world where smartphone memory is prime real estate. At the same time, it made the two companies more competitive with Uber, which also offers access to taxi services through Uber Taxi in some international cities.
The deal allowed Easy Taxi to gain the capital they needed to continue growing in the midst of rideshare’s growth as a trendy and preferred option. It also allowed the company to join a carbon neutral platform — Cabify offsets emissions with a project that protects the Amazon rainforest, which makes them favored among a growing number of socially responsible tech users.
For Cabify, the merger was a smart move that helped reduce criticism as tensions between rideshare services and taxis ramped up. Plus, it’s an investment that may pay back in the future if rideshare regulations continue to increase worldwide.
How to Request an Easy Taxi
If you download Easy Taxi today, you’ll find it’s a replica of Cabify. This is because Easy Taxi’s services are merged onto the Cabify platform rather than the other way around. That said, requesting a vehicle is much like requesting an Uber. All you need to do is:
- Download the Easy Taxi app or the Cabify app on Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
- Follow the steps to create your account and add a payment method.
- Input your pick-up and drop-off points on the home screen.
- Select “Easy Taxi” from the list of vehicle options. In some cities, “Easy Economy” may be available to provide you with lower-cost taxi services, though this may open you up to lower-quality vehicles.
- Tap “Order Now,” or schedule your ride for later by tapping on “Reserve,” located next to the calendar icon and right above the “Order Now” button.
There’s no word on whether the Easy Taxi app — now known as “Easy, a Cabify App” on iOS devices and “Easy, a Cabify App” on Androids — will ever be shut down or fully integrated into the Cabify app. Until this changes, you can download either app and get the same results.
Other Cabify Ride Options
If you’re not looking to pay by the meter, or Easy Taxi isn’t available in your city, Cabify also provides traditional rideshare options for users on its platform. These services are:
- Cabify Lite: This is the standard private car option that directly compares to UberX, the basic economy option that Uber is best known for. This is one of the most popular options for Cabify users, as it is typically the cheapest service, even compared to Easy Taxi.
- Cabify Executive: This option offers luxury vehicles and is most comparable to Uber’s Select service. Cabify Executive and Uber Select both allow you to upgrade your ride without getting a full-on black car service with professional, commercially licensed drivers.
- Cabify Group: Like UberXL, this option allows you to fit more friends into one ride. However, you’re only guaranteed six seats instead of Uber’s seven. Plus, this option is actually more costly than Cabify’s luxury service — and not by a small amount — so you may end up paying more for a regular SUV than for a Mercedes.
- MOVO: Much like JUMP, Uber’s electric scooter option with equally capitalized branding, this option allows you to save on gas and get around less car-friendly parts of town easier. However, with MOVO, you can rent out mopeds in addition to scooters.
Like Lyft and Uber, Cabify and Uber are such direct competitors that some of their specialty services are exactly the same. However, these options are limited to specific cities that currently do not seem to overlap.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cabify and Easy Taxi are well-known transportation solutions throughout Latin America that may be able to help you during your travels or daily life. To help you learn more about the Cabify platform, here are our answers to three common questions:
1. Is Easy Taxi available wherever Cabify is available?
No, it’s actually only available in Latin American cities where it existed before the merger. For reference, Easy Taxi has operations in select cities in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru. Cabify additionally offers services in the Dominican Republic, Panama City, Portugal, and Spain.
2. How do Cabify and Easy Taxi prices compare to Uber’s?
This varies from city to city, but we’ve found that Cabify Lite, Easy Economy, and Easy Taxi are often cheaper than UberX, while Cabify Group is typically more expensive than UberXL. Still, it’s hard to compare all of Cabify’s services. Because Uber is a US-based brand, a lot of its services are not offered outside of the US and parts of Canada.
For example, in Madrid, you cannot hail an Uber Select car, which means Cabify Executive is your only choice. In many Latin American cities, Uber Taxi doesn’t exist, and Easy Taxi is only comparable to other taxi apps in the region. However, if you want a black car service, Uber Black should be your go-to, as Cabify doesn’t offer this.
3. What is the benefit of riding an Easy Taxi instead of a Cabify service?
The primary benefit of riding an Easy Taxi is when surcharges are highest on Cabify. Surcharges, like Uber’s surge pricing, rise during times of high demand. For example, if you’re traveling to Brazil during Carnival season in Rio de Janeiro, it’s possible that surcharges can rise so high that you’re better off paying a metered price.
Another reason to select Easy Taxi is that you’ll receive a professional driver. Cabify does not offer any type of black car service or ultra high-end luxury service, so you’ll be matched with an everyday driver, no matter what type of vehicle you request. With Easy Taxi, your driver is commercially licensed and may have a bit more experience driving around the city. Another plus is the app’s focus on safety.
Hail a Cab More Conveniently Than Ever
Easy Taxi is one of the few modern startups that have disrupted an industry while helping traditional services thrive. Through the service’s affordability and convenience, taxi companies cater to modern audiences. If you want the option to choose between a taxi ride and a private car on one platform during your next visit to a Latin American country, the Cabify platform is sticking around.
If you want a taxi option when you’re traveling through Europe, and even parts of the United States, read our guide to MyTaxi, the world’s first taxi app.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.